Liz Monteiro and Dianne Wood
The Toronto Star, Thursday November 15 2001
A Cambridge businessman and his son who ran a swine-breeding company here have been charged with fraud after police say about 1,200 area investors lost more than $1 million. An investigation involving three police forces and Canada Customs alleges that Struthers Research Inc. was involved in theft and diverting the money from investors between December, 1995, and December, 1998. Ronald Wayne Struthers, 55, his son Samuel Jason Struthers, 28, and Una Patricia Ireland, 55, of Kitchener, face charges of theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000. They appeared in a Kitchener court yesterday. Ireland, an employee, and Jason Struthers were released and are to return to court Jan. 9.
Ron Struthers, a former Pentecostal minister, didn't have a surety yesterday. He is to return to bail court tomorrow. An arrest warrant has been issued for Paul John Allcock, 30, of Guelph. Allcock served as director of corporate affairs for the company. Since its beginning in 1994, Struthers, a Guelph-based company, has raised and spent more than $11 million to commercialize a swine embryo transplant system and develop disease-free pigs.
"They were trying to discover genetics to a perfect pig," said Corporal Paul Thompson of the Kitchener detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one of the three police forces involved in the case. Others were Waterloo Region police and the Guelph force. Backers of the company's efforts have included the National Research Council, the Canadian International Development Agency and the University of Guelph, where several researchers had been doing contract work for Struthers. The company racked up a series of debts and a number of angry investors complained to the Ontario Securities Commission, which regulates publicly traded companies. The debts, estimated at more than $6.5 million, were loans from shareholders. The money owing was in the name of several companies, including Struthers Research Inc. and Struthers International Research Corp. By the end of 1998, the company was based in South Carolina.